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This is How you Stymie a Movement

Issue 260

Amba Guerguerian Dec 19, 2020

Illustrations by Leia-Lee Doran.

There were countless instances of police brutality against protesters catalogued during the month of June, when mass protests erupted in NYC and around the country and world in reaction to the murder of George Floyd. Here is a chronicle of unnecessary police force or police presence which has continued through the summer and fall as the NYPD tries to thwart any resurgence of a movement that seeks to defund and ultimately abolish policing as we know it.

Read “NYPD Abuses Mount: AS BLM protests shrink, police department follows familiar playbook for crushing radical movements for change,” for analyses of this information.

7/11/20 — Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Blue Lives Matter Protest: Cop tases a BLM counter-protester for yelling at him.

7/22/20 — City Hall Park, Manhattan, Occupy City Hall/Abolition Park: Est. 700 officers storm and raid the City Hall Park occupation without warning. They destroy food, clothing, and other resources. The population of occupiers included children and the elderly.

7/26/20 — City Hall Park, Manhattan, protest against Occupy raid: Cops drive NYPD car into a crowd, beat and arrest a group of protesters, resulting in a broken arm and a skull injury.

7/28/20 — 2nd Ave/E. 25th St, Manhattan, 24- Hour BLM protest: Plainclothes cops grab Nikki Stone, a young trans woman wanted for spray painting over police cameras at the City Hall occupation, off her skateboard without warning and throw her in an unmarked van.

9/3/20 — Times Square, Manhattan, Daniel Prude/Dion Kay BLM protest: Cops escort MAGA counter-protesters into a car that proceeds to drive into the group of protesters as the march sets off.

9/13/20 — 34th Precinct/Broadway and 183rd St, Manhattan: Bronx march and Jersey March meet up at GW bridge and stop to protest in front of the 34th precinct, where the NYPD reacts with excessive force, throwing one man to the ground, effectively breaking his arm.

ANTI-ICE PROTESTS: Immigration advocates and BLM activists protest after news hit that women were being sterilized in an ICE detention center in Georgia. NYPD rapidly kettle these protests.

  • 9/17/20 — 9/11 memorial/Greenwich St. and Fulton St., Manhattan: Protesters are heavily outnumbered (30 to an est. 150 at one point) and violently kettled. Tackling arrests are made even once protesters move to the sidewalk, as instructed to do by NYPD.
  • 9/18/20 — Washington Square Park, Manhattan: Protesters are chased and kettled into Washington Square Park, where some are arrested.
  • 9/19/20 — Times Square, Manhattan: Protesters are kettled and arrested in Times Square by a large number of police before beginning to protest in the roadway, 87 arrests are made. Then cops attack protesters holding a jail support vigil.

9/26/20 — 6th precinct/W 10th St. and Hudson: Protesters were in front of 6th precinct to collect confiscated sound equipment at an earlier “Celebration of Art of Protest.” Cops abruptly attack and arrest the protesters after one person steps off the curb. The police knock over outdoor dining tables and chairs in front of stunned customers.

10/13/20 — Trump Tower/5th Ave. and 57th St., Manhattan, pro-Trump protest: At the unveiling of the world’s largest known Trump flag, a BLM counter-protester is beaten up by Trump supporters. The NYPD joins in and arrests him.

10/25/20 — Times Square, Manhattan: Altercation between pro-Trump caravan and counter- protesters begins, Police have MAGA leave, then arrest counter-protesters.

10/27/20 — Boerum Pl. and Brooklyn Bridge Blvd., Brooklyn, protest killing of Walter Wallace by Philadelphia police: Some BLM protesters loot corporate businesses in Downtown Brooklyn, then police kettle the whole group of protesters, arrest- ing people who attempt to exit the protest or get onto the sidewalk. A legal observer is one of the arrestees.

ELECTION WEEK: NYPD uses excessive force and kettling to make arbitrary arrests of non-violent protesters.

• 11/4/20 — Washington Square Park, Manhattan: Massive showing of police, violent arrests are made, many protesters are arrested on the sidewalk. One protester goes unconscious after 10 cops seize her.
• 11/5/20 — Stonewall Monument, 7th Ave. and Christopher St., Manhattan: At the weekly Black Trans March organized in conjunction with election protests, an est. 100 officers attack the non-violent marchers, brutally arresting a lead organizer.

11/19/20 — Washington Square Park, Manhattan, LGBTQ+ Asylum Seekers March: An NYPD scooter hit-and-runs a protester who leaves the scene in an ambulance.

12/11/20 — 26 Court St., Brooklyn, Eviction Defense Protest: The NYPD violently kettles protesters on the sidewalk in front of an eviction lawyer’s office, shoving, punching and arresting them. Protesters who had entered the building and tried to leave after 15 minutes were also kettled without warning and arrested. One arrestee was an 80- year-old tenant organizer who was put in an NYPD van with no open windows and not permitted bathroom breaks or water once in the precinct.

Excessive police presence and intimidation, but no physical violence:

8/16/20 — Prospect Park, Brooklyn, All-day housing protest: 9 arrest vans intimidate and follow housing activists into Prospect Park where they are having free dinner, shows, and teach-ins.

10/6/20 — Maspeth, Queens, Anti-cop union protest: 30+ NYPD vans and SUVs, SRG (bike) cops, and unmarked cops cars follow an est. 100 protesters.

11/13/20 — Atlantic Ave. and Bond St., 32BJ SEIU Workers’ demonstration: 24 cops, a white shirt, and four arrest vans present at a rally of about 20 SEIU sidewalk protesters who had called ahead to see if they needed a permit.

11/10/20 — South Ferry Station/Whitehall St. and South St., Manhattan: A march starting from South Ferry Station was cancelled due to heavy police presence. At one point there are 80+ officers for a group of 20 protesters.

11/17/20 — Barclays Center/Atlantic Ave. and 4th Ave., Brooklyn, People’s Liberation March: Heavy police presence, 60 + cops and 10 arrest vans follow a group of about 150 protesters who are surrounded several times.

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